Technology Changes for Fall 2016

ClassTech has been hard at work over the summer updating 40 classrooms to the new digital standard. As part of this continued technology shift to digital, we have also updated our touch panel UI that is used to control the classroom a/v equipment. The interactions are very similar to the previous touch panel layouts, but with a greater emphasis on getting in-line with University branding guidelines, as well as overhauling how the a/v system interacts with the classroom capture backend.

An additional change was made to our Mediasite (lecture capture) deployment, which is described below in greater detail. In short, these changes make the experience more automatic for the user, with as little ‘required’ interaction as possible. As part of this paradigm shift, the touch panel interactions were also adjusted to come into alignment with University branding, as well as the changes to how the user interacts with the system for scheduled recording sessions.

 

Touch Panel Changes

 

 

Touch_Panel_Start
                         Start-Up Screen

This image represents the main screen you encounter when entering the room.

You have 2 options here: Swipe to power the system up, or hit the ‘Audio Only Mode’ button.
Audio Only Mode will be discussed below.

 

 

 

 

 

Input Selection
                        Input Selection

This is the main screen once the system is powered on.

You can select which input to display in the room, adjust audio levels (microphone & program audio), access Room Controls, power down the system, etc..

 

 

 

 

 

Room Controls
                         Room Controls

The Room Controls screen allows the user to directly power down the projector, while leaving the rest of the a/v system powered on. You can also raise or lower the projection screen from this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Display Selection for Content
             Display Selection for Content

If the room is equipped with multiple displays, you will be presented with the option of where to display your selected input.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laptop Cable/Input Selection
             Laptop Cable/Input Selection

When selecting the laptop input, you will be prompted for which cable you are connecting to your laptop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Network Connectivity Error
               Network Connectivity Error

We have added a new message that will pop-up on the touch panel if the network connection between the a/v processor and touch panel is broken. This network connectivity is vital for the system to function properly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help!
                                   Help!

If you are experiencing issues in the room, or need to contact ClassTech for other reasons, our contact info. can be shown by selecting the “?” (questions mark) icon on the right hand side of the touch panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shutdown System Verification
            Shutdown System Verification

Once you are ready to power the system down, by pressing the Power Off button at top right, you will be presented with a confirmation message. This is to prevent accidental shut-downs, as this can be a time consuming process between the projectors cooling down and warming back up.

 

 

 

 

 

System Cooling Down Timer
             System Cooling Down Timer

The last screen you see, after shutting the system down, is the “Displays are cooling down..” image. This represents how long you must wait before powering up the system again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio Only Mode

Touch_Panel_StartAudioOnly
                       Audio Only Mode

Selecting ‘Audio Only Mode’ will switch the a/v system into a mode where the room displays are not powered on. In this mode, you can make use of both the microphone (if installed) and program audio inputs. You will be allowed to select any source for audio (lectern PC, laptop connections (HDMI, or 3.5mm)).

You can control both the microphone and program audio from this screen as well.

Pressing “Exit” will close audio only mode, so that the user may power up the a/v system fully.

Note: If a scheduled lecture capture session is detected, Audio Only Mode will automatically be turned off (and disabled).

 

 


 

Mediasite (Lecture Capture) Section

 

Note: At the end of this section are the Touch Panel images that reflect this change in process.

 

Executive Summary
As a result of discussions between OIT, DELTA and Sonic Foundry it has been determined that the reliability of the classroom lecture capture service can be improved by making the following changes:

  • Capture Sessions will Automatically Start when the class is scheduled to begin
  • Capture Sessions will Automatically Stop 5 minutes after class is scheduled to end
  • Users can Pause and/or Stop (Publish) a recording session
  • Users can Cancel a scheduled recording prior to it automatically starting
    • Countdown timer on touch panel allows for this
  • System will alert user that a recording has begun
  • System will alert user when low audio has been detected
    • Alerts center around microphone audio levels
    • Batteries may need to be changed
    • Microphone placement may need to be adjusted

 

ClassTech will be conducting ‘live monitoring’ of capture sessions in progress. Users will be presented the option to allow technical staff to enter a classroom to address issues that were detected as part of this service.

In an effort to provide the highest levels of support, to both faculty and students, beginning with the Fall 2016 semester all scheduled Mediasite sessions will Automatically Start and Stop without requiring input from the user. ClassTech worked closely with both Sonic Foundry (Mediasite), and NCSU DELTA, regarding best practices, and how we can implement these best practices into our classroom environments. Other institutions are experiencing a more reliable service using the automatic start/stop paradigm, including Leeds University, which has the largest deployment of Mediasite recorders.

 

Process:

Once a user has Opted-In for lecture capture, their session will automatically start recording at the time the course is scheduled to begin, and will automatically stop recording at the time the course is scheduled to end. The start and stop times are retrieved from the course data stored by Registration and Records, and is considered to be the accurate source for class times. Shortly after the session has ended, the process to push the completed recording to the servers will complete. Students who have been granted access to the course sessions will be able to view them at this time.

 

EXAMPLE

Course Title: CSC 216-001

Days of Week: T-Th

Start Time: 3:00PM

  • Recording kicks off at 3PM

End Time: 4:15PM

  • Recording stops & publishes to server
  • Students would have access [traditionally] by 4:45PM

 

The user will maintain the ability to Pause, and/or Stop, the current recording as they see fit. Additionally, the video preview screen will remain available, as well as the audio monitoring screen. We feel that these features are a requirement from the user perspective, as it provides a mechanism for you to control the recording, as well as provide feedback that the recording is progressing as expected.

If a time arises where a recorded session requires editing, or should be removed entirely from the catalog, you can email DELTA at mediasite-help@ncsu.edu to request assistance. 

If you have questions, or concerns, regarding this change in process, please send an email to classtech@ncsu.edu with your remarks.

We look forward to working with you in the future, and hope that you take advantage of this wonderful service!

 

Touch Panel Updates for Mediasite (lecture capture)

The a/v system is scanning for upcoming lecture capture sessions. When a session is detected, the touch panel will show various images based on whether the system is powered up, or not.

 

System Powered On
                    System Powered On
System is not Powered On
              System is not Powered On

The system will display an image that shows that an upcoming session has been detected. The image will provide the option to ‘Cancel Recording’, and/or ‘Power on System’ in instances where the user has yet to turn on the a/v systems.

There will be a countdown timer present, which shows how long before the recording session will [automatically] begin, as well as an audio meter. The audio meter informs the user as to whether or not the system is picking up microphone audio levels.

 

Touch_Panel_StartMediasiteWarning
  Capture Started w/o System Powered Up

Note: If a recording starts, and the a/v system has not been powered up, the touch panel will display a warning message to the user.

The system is not recording audio, or video, signals when the system is not powered up!

 

 

 

 

 

System is Powered Up
                 System is Powered Up
System is not Powered Up
              System is not Powered Up

From both screens, the user may opt to Cancel the upcoming recording session. If the user selects to ‘Cancel Recording’, the following verification screen will appear (as a precaution to Cancel being hit inadvertently).

The same verification image is used regardless of whether the system is powered up, or other otherwise.

 

 

 

Recording Sessions w/Camera View
       Recording Sessions w/Camera View
Recording w/o Camera View
              Recording w/o Camera View

Once a recording sessions has begun, the touch panel will provide a couple of options to the user, as well as provide visual feedback that everything is progressing as expected. The user can Pause or Stop (publish) a recording here.

The screen displayed will depend on whether there is a camera in the room, and whether the user has elected to Pause or Stop/Publish the recording before the scheduled end time.

 

 

Stop Recording Session & Publish
          Stop Recording Session & Publish

The user can Stop a recording prior to scheduled automatic stop time by clicking the ‘Stop’ button. A dialog will appear that confirms that the user wishes to stop the recording early. If confirmed, the recording will be stopped, and published to the server.

This can be useful for study sessions, exams, or any other time that the user elects to stop early.

 

 

 

 

 

Low Audio Detected
                    Low Audio Detected

An additional feature of the system is that we are scanning for Low Audio input. If it is detected that the audio signal is low (or not present), a warning will appear on the touch panel, and all displays will be ‘muted’ (blanked). The user should verify that they are wearing the microphone, that it’s turned on, that batteries are charged, and that it’s worn in a proper location. The message will automatically disappear once audio is detected at proper levels.

The user can close this box if they so choose, however it will reappear if low audio is again detected.

 

 

 

There is no required interactions for a session to stop and publish to the servers. This is an automatic process that takes place once the scheduled time for the class to end has come about.